HCV subtype characterization among injection drug users: implication for a crucial role of Zhenjiang in HCV transmission in China.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: HCV transmission is closely associated with drug-trafficking routes in China. However, the transmission route of HCV in Eastern China remains unclear. Here, we investigate the role of Zhenjiang city of Jiangsu province, an important transportation hub linking Shanghai with other regions of China, in HCV transmission. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A total of 141 whole blood samples were collected from injection drug users (IDUs) in Zhenjiang and then tested for HCV infection. Of them, 115 HCV positive plasmas were subjected to RNA extraction, RT-PCR amplification, and sequencing. The subtype characterization and the evolutionary origin of HCV strains circulating in Zhenjiang were determined using polygenetic or phylogeographic analyses. Seven HCV subtypes 1b, 2a, 3a, 3b, 6a, 6e and 6n were detected among Zhenjiang IDUs, showing a complex HCV epidemic. The most predominant subtypes were 3a (38%) and 1b (26.8%). Among these subtypes, subtypes 3b, 6n and 6e originated from Southwestern China (i.e., Yunnan and/or Guangxi), subtypes 2a and 6a from Southern China (i.e., Guangdong), subtype 1b from Central (i.e., Henan) and Northwestern (i.e., Xinjiang) China, and subtype 3a from Southwestern (i.e., Yunnan) and Northwestern (i.e., Xinjiang) China. From Zhenjiang, subtypes 1b and 2a were further spread to Eastern (i.e., Shanghai) and Northern (i.e., Beijing) China, respectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The mixing of seven HCV subtypes in Zhenjiang from all quarters of China indicates that as an important middle station, Zhenjiang plays a crucial role in HCV transmission, just as it is important in population migration between other regions of China and Eastern China.
Project description:More than half of intravenous drug users (IDUs) in China suffer from the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The virus is also more prevalent in non-injection drug users (NIDUs) than in the general population. However, not much is known about HCV subtype distribution in these populations.Our research team conducted a cross-sectional study in four provinces in China. We sampled 825 IDUs and 244 NIDUs (1162 total), genotyped each DU's virus, and performed a phylogenetic analysis to differentiate HCV subtypes.Nucleic acid testing (NAT) determined that 82% percent (952/1162) of samples were HCV positive; we subtyped 90% (859/952) of these. We found multiple HCV subtypes: 3b (249, 29.0%), 3a (225, 26.2%), 6a (156, 18.2%), 1b (137, 15.9%), 6n (50, 5.9%), 1a (27, 3.1%), and 2a (15, 1.7%). An analysis of subtype distributions adjusted for province found statistically significant differences between HCV subtypes in IDUs and NIDUs.HCV subtypes 3b, 3a, 6a, and 1b were the most common in our study, together accounting for 89% of infections. The subtype distribution differences we found between IDUs and NIDUs suggested that sharing syringes was not the most likely pathway for HCV transmission in NIDUs. However, further studies are needed to elucidate how NIDUs were infected.
Project description:We have recently determined HCV isolates among volunteer blood donors and IDUs in southern China and revealed the genotype distribution patterns not only different between the two studied cohorts but also from what we have sampled in 2002. A changed pattern could have also occurred among patients with liver disease.Both E1 and NS5B sequences of HCV were characterized among 393 patients with liver disease followed by phylogenetic analysis.Six HCV genotypes, 12 subtypes (1b: 65.9%, 6a: 17.1%, 2a: 7.4%, 3a: 3.6%, 3b: in 3.3%, 6e: 0.76%, and 1a, 1c, 2b, 2f, 4d, and 5a each 0.25%), and two novel genotype 6 variants were classified, showing the greatest complexity of HCV hitherto found in China. Although the predominance of 1b followed by 6a is largely consistent with what we have sampled in 2002, the identification of single isolates of 1c, 2f, 4d, 5a, and two novel HCV-6 variants were first reported. Excluding 4d from a European visitor, all the others were from Chinese patients. Since the 6a proportion (17.1%, 67/393) was unexpectedly lower than what we have recently detected among blood donors (34.8%, 82/236) and IDUs (51.5%, 70/136), further statistical analyses were conducted. Comparison of the mean ages showed that among the 393 patients, those infected with 1b were significantly (6.7 years) older than those with 6a, while the 393 patients as a whole were significantly older than the 236 blood donors (8.4 years) and 136 IDUs (12.6 years) we have recently reported. Explanations are that younger individuals had higher proportions of 6a infections while patients with liver disease could have acquired their infections earlier than volunteer blood donors and IDUs.Among 393 patients with liver disease, a great diversity in HCV was detected, which reflects a constantly changing pattern of HCV genotypes in China over time.
Project description:Recently, we studied hepatitis C virus (HCV) sera-prevalence among 559 890 first-time volunteer blood donors in China. From randomly selected 450 anti-HCV positive donors, we detected HCV RNA in 270 donors. In this study, we amplified HCV E1 and/or NS5B sequences from 236 of these donors followed by DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The results indicate new trends of HCV infection in China. The HCV genotype distribution differed according to the donors' region of origin. Among donors from Guangdong province, we detected subtypes 6a, 1b, 3a, 3b, 2a, and 1a at frequencies of 49.7%, 31.0%, 7.6%, 5.5%, 4.1%, and 2.1%, respectively. Among donors from outside Guangdong, we detected 1b, 2a, 6a, 3b, 3a, 6e, and 6n at frequencies 57.1%, 13.2%, 11.0%, 9.9%, 4.4%, 2.2%, and 2.2%, respectively. Although we found no significant differences among regions in age or gender, subtype 6a was more common (P < 0.001) in donors from Guangdong than those from elsewhere, whilst subtypes 1b (P < 0.02) and 2a (P < 0.001) were more frequent outside Guangdong. Disregarding origins, the male/female ratio was higher for subtype 6a-infected donors (P < 0.05) than for subtype 1b donors, whilst the mean age of subtype 2a donors was 8-10 years older (P < 0.05) than that for all other subtypes. Detailed phylogenetic analysis of our sequence data provides further insight into the transmission of HCV within China, and between China and other countries. The predominance of HCV 6a among blood donors in Guangdong is striking and mandates studies into risk factors for its acquisition.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype (GT) distribution in China shows significant geographical and demographic difference. As a routinely tested virus in Chinese blood bank systems, rare molecular epidemiology research in blood donors is reported. Our purpose is to investigate the HCV GT/subtypes distribution, phylogenetic analysis and population genetics in Chinese blood donors. Anti-HCV screen positive samples and donor demographics were collected. HCV Core and E1 gene fragments were amplified by RT-PCR, followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis to determine HCV GTs/subtypes using MEGA 7.0. The population genetics were performed using Arlequin v3.0 and Beast v1.10.4. SPSS Statistics 17.0 software was used to analyze the correlation between HCV GTs/subtypes distribution and demographic characteristics. 419 and 293 samples based on Core and E1 gene respectively were successfully amplified. HCV la, lb, 2a, 3a, 3b, 6a, 6e and 6n were found, and the corresponding proportions were 0.66% (3/455), 58.68% (267/455), 17.80% (81/455) and 5.05% (23/455), 3.52% (16/455), 12.31% (56/455), 0.88% (4/455) and 0.66% (3/455). Samples from Guangxi showed the most abundant genetic diversity with 8 subtypes were found. The number of haplotypes in HCV-1b is higher than 2a and 6a. The negative Tajima's D and Fu's Fs values of HCV-1b, 2a and 6a suggested the population expansion of those HCV subtypes. The distribution of HCV GT showed significant statistical difference by age and ethnicity. Conclusion: An abundance of HCV genetic diversity was found in Chinese blood donors with mainly 1b and then 2a subtype. There were significant geographical and demographic differences in HCV GTs/subtypes among Chinese blood donors. HCV subtype 1b has stronger viability and HCV subtype 6a has experienced significant expansion.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Recently, high proportions (15.6%-98.7%) of intravenous drug users (IDUs) in China were found to be positive for hepatitis C virus (HCV). Yunnan Province is located in southwestern China and borders one of the world's most important opium-producing regions, thus it is an important drug trafficking route to other regions of China. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we assessed 100 HCV-positive plasma samples from IDUs who were enrolled through the Kunming Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012. HCV C/E1 fragments were PCR-amplified and sequenced. We identified eight HCV subtypes (1a, 1b, 3a, 3b, 6a, 6n, 6u and 6v), of which genotype 6 was most predominant (frequency, 47%) followed by genotypes 3 (41%) and 1 (12%). HCV subtypes 6n (30%) and 3b (29%) were most common and were identified in 59% of the IDUs. We compared HCV genotypes among IDUs in Yunnan Province with those from other regions and found that the distribution patterns of HCV genotypes in Yunnan Province were similar to those in southern China, but different from those in eastern China. However, the distribution patterns of HCV subtypes varied among Yunnan Province and southern China, despite the shared similar genotypes. A comparison of the current data with those previously reported showed that the frequency of HCV genotype 6 increased from 25% to 47% within 5 years, especially subtypes 6a (5% to 15%) and 6n (11.2% to 30%). In contrast, the frequencies of subtypes 3b and 1b decreased by almost 50% within 5 years. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results provided further information to support the assertion that drug trafficking routes influence HCV transmission patterns among IDUs in Yunnan Province. The frequency of HCV genotypes and subtypes changed rapidly among IDUs in Yunnan Province and subtypes 6a and 6n may have originated in Vietnam and Myanmar, respectively.
Project description:The hepatitis C virus (HCV) exhibits global genotypic diversity. HCV genotyping plays an important role in epidemiological studies and clinical management. Herein, we report the results of HCV genotype and subtype detection in a large number of clinical samples, as performed by an independent laboratory in China. In total, four HCV genotypes and 18 subtypes were identified among 32 030 patients from 29 provinces and municipalities in China. Five dominant subtypes were detected from 98.84% of the samples: 1b (n=16 713, 52.18%), 2a (n=9188, 28.69%), 3b (n=2261, 7.06%), 6a (n=2052, 6.41%) and 3a (n=1479, 4.62%). Twelve rare subtypes were detected, of which four (that is, 6b, 6j, 6q and 6r) are reported for the first time in the Chinese population. Genotypes 4, 5 and 7 were not detected. Mixed infections of the dominant subtypes were found in a small portion of samples (n=65, 0.203%), in the following combinations: 1b-2a, 1b-3b, 1b-6a, 3a-3b, 1b-3a and 2a-6a. No mixed infections with rare subtypes were found. Males, compared with females, showed higher HCV subtype diversity, a lower percentage of HCV1b and 2a and a higher percentage of rare subtypes and mixed infections. Our analyses revealed the comprehensive distribution patterns of HCV genotypes in the general population of mainland China. HCV genotypic patterns were differentially distributed on the basis of geography, sex and age.
Project description:The global epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) may be roughly described by two groups of genotypes: the worldwide distributed ones (subtypes 1a, 1b, 2a and 3a, among others) and the endemic ones (subtypes 4a, 5a, 6a, among others). Epidemiological and population dynamic studies of the worldwide distributed genotypes have shown that subtypes 1a and 3a are common among intravenous drug users (IDUs) and that they are also in expansion in some countries. The molecular survey of HCV provides some clues about the epidemiological status of the infections in a local scale and the phylogenetic and demographic reconstruction analyses complement this study by inferring whether the infections of certain subtypes are in a steady state or expanding. Here, a molecular survey of the HCV variants that circulate in the touristic city of Mar del Plata (Buenos Aires, Argentina) was performed in samples obtained from 42 patients. The subtypes detected were 1a (32 patients), 3a (8 patients) and 1b (2 patients). The demographic history of subtype 1a inferred using the sequence data showed an exponential growth in the 1990's. The period of viral expansion was delayed compared with that observed for the same genotype in other countries where the transmission was associated with IDUs. Also, the phylogeographic analysis of HCV-1a showed a statistically significant association between the location of the samples and the phylogeny, which may be the result of the local transmission of HCV in the city. The molecular analysis helped in the description of the complex epidemiological context of a touristic city, and pointed out that some sanitary measures should be taken in order to reduce the transmission of HCV (and maybe of HIV) among IDUs.
Project description:HCV transmission is closely associated with drug-trafficking routes in China. Dehong, a prefecture of Yunnan, is the important trade transfer station linking Southeast Asia and China, as well as the drug-trafficking channel linking "Golden triangle" and other regions of China and surrounding countries. In this study, we investigated the HCV genotype diversity among IDUs in Dehong based on 259 HCV positive samples from 118 Chinese and 141 Burmese IDUs. HCV genotypes were determined based on the phylogenies of C/E2 and NS5B genomic sequences. Six HCV subtypes, including 1a, 1b, 3a, 3b, 6n and 6u, were detected. Interestingly, 4 HCV sequences from Burmese IDUs did not cluster with any known HCV subtypes, but formed a well-supported independent clade in the phylogenetic trees of both C/E2 and NS5B, suggesting a potential new HCV subtype circulating in Dehong. Subtype 3b was the predominant subtype, followed by subtypes 6n and 6u. Comparison showed that Dehong had a unique pattern of HCV subtype distribution, obviously different from other regions of China. In particular, HCV subtypes 6u and the potential new HCV subtype had a relatively high prevalence in Dehong, but were rarely detected in other regions of China. There was no significant difference in HCV subtype distribution between Burmese and Chinese IDUs. Few HCV sequences from Burmese and Chinese IDUs clustered together to form transmission clusters. Furthermore, about half of HCV sequences from Burmese IDUs formed small transmission clusters, significantly higher than that from Chinese IDUs (p<0.01). These suggest that the Chinese and Burmese IDUs were relatively isolated from each other in injection drug use behavior and the Burmese IDUs might prefer to inject drugs themselves together. The unique genotype distribution and complex diversity of genotype 6 among IDUs may be associated with the special geographical position of Dehong.
Project description:Little is known about the molecular epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Central China.A total of 570 patients from Hubei Province in central China were enrolled. These patients were tested positive for HCV antibody prior to blood transfusion. Among them, 177 were characterized by partial NS5B and/or Core-E1 sequences and classified into five subtypes: 1b, 83.0% (147/177); 2a, 13.0% (23/177); 3b, 2.3% (4/177); 6a, 1.1% (2/177); 3a, 0.6% (1/177). Analysis of genotype-associated risk factors revealed that paid blood donation and transfusion before 1997 were strongly associated with subtypes 1b and 2a, while some subtype 2a cases were also found in individuals with high risk sexual behaviors; subtypes 3b, 6a, and 3a were detected only in intravenous drug users. Phylogeographic analyses based on the coalescent datasets demonstrated that 1b, 2a, 3b, and 6a were locally epidemic in Hubei Province. Among them, subtype 1b Hubei strains may have served as the origins of this subtype in China, and 2a and 3b Hubei strains may have descended from the northwest and southwest of China, respectively, while 6a Hubei strains may have been imported from the central south and southwest.The results suggest that the migration patterns of HCV in Hubei are complex and variable among different subtypes. Implementation of mandatory HCV screening before donation has significantly decreased the incidence of transfusion-associated HCV infection since 1997. More attention should be paid to intravenous drug use and unsafe sexual contact, which may have become new risk factors for HCV infection in Hubei Province.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype and subtype are related to disease progression and response to antiviral therapy. Current HCV genotype and subtype distribution data, especially for genotypes 3 and 6, are limited in China. Our purpose was to investigate the current HCV genotype and subtype distributions in chronic hepatitis C patients in China.Chronic hepatitis C patients (n?=?1012) were enrolled, and demographic information and possible transmission risk factors were collected. Serum samples were subjected to reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, followed by direct DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the NS5B and core/E1 regions to determine HCV genotypes/subtypes. The geographical distributions of HCV genotypes/subtypes were analyzed. Demographic information and transmission risk factors were compared between different HCV genotypes/subtypes.Four genotypes and seven subtypes of HCV were detected in 970 patients. Subtypes 1b, 2a, 3a, 6a, 3b, 6n, and 1a were detected at frequencies of 71.96%, 19.90%, 3.20%, 2.16%, 1.96%, 0.41%, and 0.41%, respectively. Genotypes 3 and 6 showed an increasingly wide geographic distribution over time. Patients with subtypes 1b and 2a were older than those with 3a, 3b, 6a, and 6n subtypes (p?<?0.05 in all subtypes). More genotype 1 and 2 patients underwent blood transfusion than those with genotype 3 (all p?<?0.05). More genotype 3 and 6 patients had a history of intravenous drug use than those with genotypes 1 and 2 (all p?<?0.05).Though subtypes 1b and 2a are still the most prevalent HCV subtypes in China, genotype 3 and 6 HCV infections have already spread nationwide from southern and western China.